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Andrew Bynum Is Now A Centerpiece; Overseas Jobs For Players Are Scarce

The pickings just keep getting smaller. No matter what you think will happen over the next few months – will NBA guys warm up to the idea of playing somewhere outside the NBA or will they decide against it? – the fact remains that the majority of them won’t be able to play there. Yes, won’t. No, it has nothing to do with on-court talent, the ability to mesh into a team system or even the possibility that they come over and outshine the entire team. It’s just that there really aren’t that many jobs available. Darius Songaila, who was rumored to be heading overseas, finally made it official by signing a one-year deal for $1.5 million with Galatasaray, a club in Turkey. Check out this tweet from Ric Bucher afterwards: DSongaila signs 1yr/$1.5m deal w/Galatasaray. No out. Leaving, oh, 13 more jobs for the other 300-some out-of-work NBAers to fight over. As Dwyane Wade emphatically stated something similar, the majority opinion for everyone would appear to be something like this: Well, I would probably consider it…but we just got locked-out, our season just ended…I’m not trying to do something drastic. Drastic might be EXACTLY what they have to do if they want to land a job come October or November … Sonny Weems was another player who officially signed on the dotted line after it was reported he planned on doing so. The Raptor swingman went with a team in Lithuania called Zalgiris Kaunas, deciding against an opt-out because his camp figures with so much uncertainty, it will be better to get over there for a full season and not have to deal with the constant issue of “is the lockout ending this week?” … On the other side of things – Europeans coming to the NBA – the Lakers hired legendary Italian coach Ettore Messina earlier this week. He will be a coaching consultant for Mike Brown … The Lakers as a whole are in the midst of a huge transformation, which Roland Lazenby helps explain. It’s Jim Buss’ team now, and Andrew Bynum will be at the center of it. He was last year when the team restructured the defense to cater to the big man completely, and he’ll be it again this year, even more so now that the old guard has left (Phil Jackson). Is this a good thing? … The first round of the Dime 1-on-1 NBA Tournament is officially over. The last two matchups were both extremely close. Kobe might’ve been a No. 2 seed, but yet only won 68% of the vote to beat Tyreke Evans and move on. And surprisingly (even as a higher seed), Derrick Rose took out Dwight Howard, earning 62% of the vote. Amazing that so few people believed in Howard’s size. Now it gets real: ‘Bron vs. the Truth, D-Wade vs. KD, Dirk vs. ‘Melo & D-Rose vs. Kobe … Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Yao Ming‘s agent, Bill Duffy, told him the big man will hold a press conference on July 20 in his hometown of Shanghai to officially announce his retirement … Doug McDermott dropped 19 and the US destroyed Poland by nearly 40 in the U19 World Championships. Now, the US will take on Australia today to determine fifth and sixth place … The owners and players don’t plan to meet again until late July or early August, according to the vice president of the NBPA, Maurice Evans … And it’s being reported that Shaquille O’Neal will join Turner Sports next year, meaning he will probably end up on TNT’s Inside The NBA with EJ, Kenny & Charles … We’re out like overseas playing gigs.

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